A technology for the playing of music no longer in fashion today is the turntable and the record. Sound was recorded onto the record. A needle in the arm of a turntable would read the recorded sound and play it. One glitch in this technology was skip. Scratch the record and the needle would skip a segment of the song.
At Easter Mass today the priest skipped the most important part of the Easter song. He is a good priest. He is near the end of his career but is still sharp as a tack. Yet, he skipped it. That he skipped it told me that he just did not understand it. If he understood it, he would have mentioned it.
What was skipped?
He talked about the dying. He talked about the rising. However, he made no mention of the in-between. The in-between is the most important part of the Easter song.
We tortured and killed the Son of God while He was human, alive, tender and vulnerable. This was sufficient reason to piss Him off. We baptized Him in the boiling cauldron of pain and suffering. This was sufficient reason to antagonize Him. We ground Him through the millstone. This was sufficient reason to raise His ire against us. We impaled him on the sharp hook of salvation with the same insouciance as the fisherman who impales a live worm on the sharp hook. This was sufficient reason to cause Him to hate us.
Yet, God's ways are not our ways. God's thoughts are not our thoughts.
The Son of God refused to let go of His love for us. He refused to surrender it. He refused to relinquish it. He clung to his love for us, held tight and did not let go. He clung with the iron grip of the drowning man who clings to a life preserver during a raging storm after his ship has sunk. He spilled not a drop - not a drop - of His love for us throughout His ordeal. Buckets of blood spilled through the wounds we opened in His body with lash, thorns, nails and spear but not drop of His love for us.
That the Son of God emerged from the evil baptism into which we immersed Him with His most sacred heart still filled to the brim with love for us is the real miracle of Easter. Indeed, rising from the dead is an awesome display of omnipotence. However, it tells us nothing about the status of God's love for us. It tells us nothing about the Son of God's reaction to the evil baptism into which we immersed Him. We committed the sin of sins against the Son of God. Yet, the Son of God prayed to His Father to forgive us. The survival of His love for us is the guarantee that God gave us at Calvary that His love for us is real - that his love for us is genuine. If His love for us were counterfeit, it would have faded as we tortured Him and died when we killed Him. But it did not. It did not. It survived. Alleluia! It survived.
The survival of His love for us took place between the dying and the rising. Yet, the priest did not mention it. He bypassed it. He skipped over it. He passed over the best part.
That God was willing to do Calvary for us suggests that there is nothing that God won't do for us.
Who is this God who is so crazily in love with us?
His love for us is indestructible.
His love for us is intransigent.
His love for us is invincible.
The dial that regulates His love for us is in His hands not ours. Moreover, it is set to the highest degree and is locked in place.
This is the best part of the Easter song.
Yet, the priest skipped it.
He left it out because He did not understand that the reality the Cross represents takes place on two layers of reality not one.
On the skin of reality, we tortured and killed the Son of God while He was human, alive, tender and vulnerable. He suffered and died. On the subcutaneous layer of reality, the Son of God was clinging to His love for us, holding tight and not letting go.
That He succeeded in holding onto His love for us is the glorious triumph of the Cross. It is the sublime victory. The Son of God loved us despite the cost - despite the exorbitant cost. He paid the exorbitant cost out of His own pocket. Furthermore, He paid the exorbitant cost not from His limitless divine resources but from His limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for himself. He has never paid more for anything else (John 15:13)? How valuable we are to God! How precious we are to God! Look at how much He paid for us. To God, we are the apple of His eye. To God, we are the pearl of great price. To God, we are the treasure hidden in the field.
The priest skipped all this. He skipped it because, before He jumped to the Resurrection from the dead, he did not look through the bloody wounds we opened in the body of Christ to behold the steadfastness of His love for us. He did not realize that the bloody wounds are windows. Not realizing that they were windows, he passed them by.
He kept the best part of the Easter song from us.
Happy Easter! Keep your hopes up. Keep your expectations high. Be patient and wait for the Lord. He is risen. He is risen and continues to love us nonetheless. That He did Calvary for us tells us there is nothing that He won't do for us. We are His beloved.